Eau Claire Maker’s Market X The Barnacle Show celebrates local talent

Art vendors and musicians take to The Brickhouse

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Maggie O'Brien

Handmade art and textiles on display at Greyson Grey’s table.

Eau Claire Maker’s Market and The Barnacle teamed up to host an evening filled with live music and handmade art on Saturday, May 16. The show took place from 7-10:30 p.m. at The Brickhouse and was open to all ages. The fee to enter the Maker’s Market was $5. 

According to its Instagram, The Barnacle is a venue and performance network out of Eau Claire that has been booking and promoting local music since 2017. 

The Eau Claire Maker’s Market’s website says its mission is to provide creative opportunities and offer a platform for artists and musicians in the Chippewa Valley. 

The two organizations joined efforts to offer both a concert and art show to attendees. According to Volume One, the musicians featured at the show included Mack John, Hunter Nicholson, Lake Qualm and Lesh.

The show also featured over eight art vendors, who showcased their work and had a variety of art for sale. 

Samantha Miske, a vendor at the maker’s market, said she was a vendor at the last market and returned to sell at another one because she enjoyed the experience. 

“I’ve recently started putting my art out there and I’ve gotten into the Maker’s Market,” Miske said.

Miske said she likes to find beauty in the disturbing and likes things to look scary or grotesque while also appearing beautiful and feminine. 

“I just wanted to come out and have a fun time and be in the scene of having my art out there,” Miske said. 

Sam Stein, the music coordinator for the Eau Claire Maker’s Market, said the show was the first collaboration between the Maker’s Market and The Barnacle. 

“I just hope people are here and enjoying this because we’ve never done an event before where it’s both a market and a concert,” Stein said. “We’re hoping people will vibe with that so there may be more in the future.”

Stein said he felt The Brickhouse was an excellent space for the show since it comes equipped with a lot of tables for the artists to utilize and offers a lot of big, open space. 

Mack John, one of the performers at the show, said the performance at The Brickhouse was the first stop from Portland, Oregon on her ongoing “I’m Not Ready” tour, which is her first tour. 

Besides performing at the show, John was also selling her merch. 

“I love being involved in events where there are other artists and where there are multiple mediums, like music and visual arts,” John said. “And then, I decided to bring along my merch with me to sell since it’s such a perfect environment to sell things.”

John said she would describe the sound of her music as an indie folk rock style that is influenced by a few music artists. 

“I would describe it as a Courtney Barnett meets Sheryl Crow, and they’re doing a Brandi Carlile cover,” John said. 

John said she is originally from Eau Claire and was super happy to be back in Eau Claire to see a lot of familiar and new faces. 

“It’s really cool to see that the arts scene is still happening here,” John said. “I felt like the music scene was really starting to hit a stride right around the time I left, so I was really worried the pandemic would impact it more indefinitely, but I’m happy to see that it’s still grooving here.”

For more information about future maker’s markets, check out the Eau Claire Maker’s Market website. To stay up to date with live music hosted by The Barnacle, check out its Instagram.

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].